Works have started on the $270 million electrification of the rail line from Sydenham to Sunbury which will deliver major improvements in the number of services for commuters from Sunbury and Diggers Rest.
Public Transport Minister Martin Pakula turned the first sod on the project which will increase capacity and forms a key part of the $38 billion Victorian Transport Plan.
“Not only will more people be able to board each train but the project will also enable more trains to be added to the network so that Sunbury and Diggers Rest passengers will enjoy more than double the number of current services every day of the week,” Mr Pakula said.
“This means Sunbury and Diggers Rest residents will have more flexibility and options when using public transport and will also provide much needed relief for passengers on the Sydenham line.”
Member for Macedon Joanne Duncan said the project would ensure a viable transport system for future generations.
“The Government is making the necessary investment to provide a service that will meet the needs of our growing community,” Ms Duncan said.
“The project has also provided a boost to local employment with new jobs being fulfilled by local residents and will shortly be calling for local suppliers to tender for the cleaning contract over the life of the project.”
Member for Melton Don Nardella said the project was expected to employ up to 240 people during construction and would have flow on positive results for local businesses and companies.
“The project is committed to supporting local businesses and will continue to use local suppliers where possible. Already, the Alliance project team have invested over $10,000, with the total figure likely to be in the hundreds of thousands,” Mr Nardella said.
“Sunbury and Diggers Rest stations will also be upgraded to provide improved facilities compliant with disability guidelines, refurbished waiting room, more seating and shelters on the platforms and passenger information displays providing real time updates on train services.”
O’Donnell Griffin and Laing O’Rourke Electrification Joint Venture have joined the Department of Transport and the rail operators Metro Trains and V/Line in an alliance to design and deliver this project.
Electric trains are expected to run from Sunbury in 2012.